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"The Prodigy"

16-11-2

BJ Penn

"The Prodigy" BJ Penn

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  • Given Name: Jay Dee Penn
  • MMA Record: 16-11-2 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: The Prodigy
  • Current Streak: 4 Losses
  • Age: 38 | Date of Birth: 1978.12.13
  • Last Fight: January 15, 2017 in UFC
  • Weight Class: Featherweight | Last Weigh-In: 146.0 lbs
  • Affiliation: Jackson Wink MMA
  • Height: 5'9" (176cm) | Reach: 70.0" (178cm)
  • Career Disclosed Earnings: $1,640,000 USD
  • Born: Kailua, Hawaii, United States
  • Fighter Pages: Sherdog  |  Wikipedia  |  The UG  |  UFC.com
  • Fighting out of: Hilo, Hawaii
  • Personal Pages: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Official Site

BJ Penn Featherweight Ranking History

Tapology Regional Rankings Rankings FAQ

Fighting for a major organization has made BJ Penn ineligible for regional rankings.

Gyms & Affiliations

BJ Penn MMA Fight Record

Record by Year and By Promotion

Pro Results Opponent Event Date
Loss | KO/TKO | Strikes
0:24 Round 2 of 5, 5:24 Total

Mx Yair Rodriguez
16-10-2 9-1-0

Us UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn
Main Event | Featherweight | 145 lbs

2017.01.15
Odds: +330 (Moderate Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $150,000 Base | Weigh-In: 146.0 lbs (66.2 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
#5 Best MMA Knockout of the Year 2017
UFC Fight Night 103 Performance of the Night
Cancelled Bout Ricardo Lamas UFC UFN 97 2016.10.15
Reason: Penn Injury
Cancelled Bout Dennis Siver UFC 199 2016.06.04
Reason: Siver Injury
Cancelled Bout Cole Miller UFC 199 2016.06.04
Reason: Penn Flagged for USADA Violation
Loss | KO/TKO | Punches
4:16 Round 3 of 5, 14:16 Total

Us Frankie Edgar
16-9-2 16-4-1

Us The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale
Main Event | Featherweight | 145 lbs

2014.07.06
Odds: +350 (Moderate Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $150,000 Base | Weigh-In: 145.0 lbs (65.8 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean | Walkout Music: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole - Hawai’i ’78 | Injuries Sustained: Eye laceration
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Ca Rory MacDonald
16-8-2 13-1-0

Us UFC on FOX 5: Henderson vs. Diaz
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs

2012.12.08
Odds: +260 (Moderate Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $150,000 Base | Weigh-In: 168.2 lbs (76.3 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean
Cancelled Bout Rory MacDonald UFC 152 2012.09.22
Reason: MacDonald Head Cut
Cancelled Bout Carlos Condit UFC 137 2011.10.29
Reason: Condit to Main Event
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Us Nick Diaz
16-7-2 25-7-0

Us UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs

2011.10.29
Odds: -115 (Near Even) | Disclosed Pay: $225,000 ($150K Base, $75K Fight/Night) | Weigh-In: 169.0 lbs (76.7 kgs) | Referee: Josh Rosenthal
#15 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
#42 Greatest Fight of All Time
#9 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2011
UFC 137 Fight of the Night
Draw | Decision | Majority
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Us Jon Fitch
16-7-1 23-3-0

Au UFC 127: Penn vs Fitch
Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs

2011.02.26
Odds: +160 (Slight Underdog) | Weigh-In: 167.2 lbs (75.8 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean
#27 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2011
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
0:21 Round 1 of 3

Us Matt Hughes
15-7-1 45-7-0

Us UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida
Co-Main Event | Welterweight | 170 lbs

2010.11.20
Odds: -220 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $80,000 KO/Night | Weigh-In: 169.0 lbs (76.7 kgs) | Referee: Dan Miragliotta
#36 Greatest Knockout of All Time
#4 Best MMA Knockout of the Year 2010
UFC 123 Knockout of the Night
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
5 Rounds, 25:00 Total

Us Frankie Edgar
15-6-1 13-1-0

Us UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2
Main Event | Title Challenge | Lightweight | 155

2010.08.28
Odds: -290 (Moderate Favorite) Upset Defeat | Disclosed Pay: $150,000 Base | Weigh-In: 154.0 lbs (69.9 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean | Walkout Music: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Hawaii '78 into E Ala E
#46 Biggest Upset of All Time
#22 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2010
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
5 Rounds, 25:00 Total

Us Frankie Edgar
15-5-1 12-1-0

Ae UFC 112: Invincible
Co-Main Event | Title Defense | Lightweight | 155

2010.04.10
Odds: -900 (Huge Favorite) Upset Defeat | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean | Walkout Music: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Hawaii '78 into E Ala E
#20 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
#5 Biggest Upset of All Time
#39 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2010
Win | KO/TKO | Injury
2:37 Round 5 of 5, 22:37 Total

Us Diego Sanchez
14-5-1 21-2-0

Us UFC 107: Penn vs. Sanchez
Main Event | Title Defense | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2009.12.12
Odds: -268 (Moderate Favorite) | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean | Walkout Music: Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Hawaii '78 into E Ala E
#8 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
#6 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
Win | Submission | Choke
3:54 Round 4 of 5, 18:54 Total

Us Kenny Florian
13-5-1 11-3-0

Us UFC 101: Declaration
Main Event | Title Defense | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2009.08.08
Odds: -255 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $60,000 Sub/Night | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs) | Referee: Dan Miragliotta
#36 Greatest Submission of All Time
#30 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
UFC 101 Submission of the Night
Loss | KO/TKO | Retired
5:00 Round 4 of 5, 20:00 Total

Ca Georges St. Pierre
13-4-1 17-2-0

Us UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2
Main Event | Title Challenge | Welterweight | 170

2009.01.31
Odds: +149 (Slight Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $125,000 Base | Weigh-In: 168.0 lbs (76.2 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean
#10 Best MMA Fight of the Year for 2009
#27 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Strikes
5:00 Round 3 of 5, 15:00 Total

Us Sean Sherk
12-4-1 34-2-1

Us UFC 84: Ill Will
Main Event | Title Defense | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2008.05.24
Odds: -253 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $250,000 ($125K Base, $125K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs) | Referee: Mario Yamasaki
#22 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
#29 Greatest Knockout of All Time
Win | Submission | Choke
4:02 Round 2 of 5, 9:02 Total

Us Joe Stevenson
11-4-1 28-7-0

Gb UFC 80: Rapid Fire
Main Event | Vacant Title | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2008.01.19
Odds: -340 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $35,000 Sub/Night | Weigh-In: 154.0 lbs (69.9 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean
#28 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
#24 Greatest Submission of All Time
UFC 80 Submission of the Night
Win | Submission | Choke
3:12 Round 2 of 3, 8:12 Total

Us Jens Pulver
10-4-1 21-7-1

Us The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale
Main Event | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2007.06.23
Odds: -340 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $100,000 ($50K Base, $50K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 155.5 lbs (70.5 kgs) | Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Loss | KO/TKO | Punches
3:53 Round 3 of 5, 13:53 Total

Us Matt Hughes
10-3-1 40-4-0

Us UFC 63: Hughes vs Penn
Main Event | Title Challenge | Welterweight | 170

2006.09.23
Odds: +195 (Moderate Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $90,000 ($50K Base, $40K Fight/Night) | Weigh-In: 166.5 lbs (75.5 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
#40 Greatest Comeback of All Time
#29 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
#72 Greatest Fight of All Time
UFC 63 Fight of the Night
Loss | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Ca Georges St. Pierre
10-2-1 11-1-0

Us UFC 58: USA vs Canada
Main Card | Welterweight | 170 lbs

2006.03.04
Odds: -115 (Near Even) | Disclosed Pay: $25,000 Base | Weigh-In: 169.0 lbs (76.7 kgs) | Referee: Herb Dean
#25 Greatest Fight of All Time
#5 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Br Renzo Gracie
9-2-1 10-5-1

Us K-1 : World Grand Prix Hawaii
Main Card

2005.07.29
Odds: -600 (Huge Favorite)
Loss | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Br Lyoto Machida
9-1-1 5-0-0

Jp K-1: HERO'S 1
Main Card | Heavyweight

2005.03.26
Weigh-In: 191.0 lbs (86.6 kgs)
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Br Rodrigo Gracie
8-1-1 5-0-0

Us Rumble on the Rock
Main Card | Middleweight

2004.11.20
Weigh-In: 180.0 lbs (81.6 kgs)
Win | Submission | Choke
1:45 Round 1 of 3

Us Duane Ludwig
7-1-1 10-2-0

Jp K-1
Main Card | Welterweight

2004.05.22
Win | Submission | Choke
4:39 Round 1 of 5

Us Matt Hughes
6-1-1 35-3-0

Us UFC 46: Supernatural
Co-Main Event | Title Challenge | Welterweight | 170

2004.01.31
Odds: +200 (Moderate Underdog) Upset Victory | Disclosed Pay: $50,000 ($25K Base, $25K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 169.5 lbs (76.9 kgs) | Referee: Mario Yamasaki
#16 Biggest Upset of All Time
#16 Greatest Submission of All Time
#8 Greatest Welterweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Submission | Choke
2:35 Round 3 of 3, 12:35 Total

Jp Takanori Gomi
5-1-1 14-1-0

Us Rumble on the Rock
Main Event | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2003.10.10
Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs)
Draw | Decision
5 Rounds, 25:00 Total

Jp Caol Uno
5-1-0 15-5-2

Us UFC 41: Onslaught
Co-Main Event | Vacant Title | Lightweight | 155

2003.02.28
Odds: -350 (Moderate Favorite) Upset Defeat | Weigh-In: 152.0 lbs (68.9 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Us Matt Serra
4-1-0 6-1-0

Us UFC 39: The Warriors Return
Main Card | Tournament Semifinal | 155 lbs

2002.09.27
Weigh-In: 154.0 lbs (69.9 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
3:23 Round 2 of 3, 8:23 Total

Us Paul Creighton
3-1-0 3-0-0

Us UFC 37: High Impact
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2002.05.10
Weigh-In: 155.0 lbs (70.3 kgs) | Referee: Larry Landless
Loss | Decision | Majority
5 Rounds, 25:00 Total

Us Jens Pulver
3-0-0 11-2-1

Us UFC 35: Throwdown
Main Event | Title Challenge | Lightweight | 155

2002.01.11
Weigh-In: 153.0 lbs (69.4 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
#45 Biggest Upset of All Time
#13 Greatest Lightweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
0:11 Round 1 of 3

Jp Caol Uno
2-0-0 13-4-2

Us UFC 34: High Voltage
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2001.11.02
Weigh-In: 154.0 lbs (69.9 kgs) | Referee: Larry Landless
#14 Greatest Knockout of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Strikes
2:42 Round 1 of 3

Us Din Thomas
1-0-0 12-1-0

Us UFC 32: Showdown in the Meadowlands
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2001.06.29
Odds: -145 (Slight Favorite) | Weigh-In: 154.0 lbs (69.9 kgs) | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
4:57 Round 1 of 3

Us Joey Gilbert
0-0-0 1-1-0

Us UFC 31: Locked and Loaded
Main Card | Lightweight | 155 lbs

2001.05.04
Referee: Mason White

BJ Penn Wiki Update Wiki

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Before entering professional mixed martial arts competition, Hilo, Hawaii’s BJ “The Prodigy” Penn was a world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, earning his black belt under Andre Pederneiras in 2000. That same year, in Rio De Janeiro, Penn made history by becoming the first non-Brazilian to win the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships. Penn earned his trademark nickname, “The Prodigy,” for accomplishing his extraordinary feat of sport Jiu-Jitsu after only a few short years of mat time. It would turn out to be the the first of Penn's many displays of stunning martial arts virtuosity.

Early UFC & MMA Career

With substantial buzz already surrounding him, Penn made his professional MMA debut in 2001 for the UFC, where he quickly lived up to his prodigious moniker by dispatching his first three opponents, including respected lightweight veterans Din Thomas and Caol Uno, in the first round. After a setback to then-champion Jens Pulver in 2002, Penn went on a seven-fight unbeaten streak from 2002-2004, defeating notable fighters Matt Serra, “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi, Matt Hughes and Rodrigo Gracie in the process. His upset of the bigger, stronger and seemingly impervious Hughes by choke-out earned Penn the UFC welterweight title.


After business disputes with the UFC derailed his title reign, forcing his abdication of the belt, Penn embarked upon a bizarre, if fascinating, stage of his career, accepting fights in various promotions all over the world with top level fighters of any weight class, including then-undefeated light heavyweight and future UFC champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at 205 lbs., a full fifty pounds over Penn’s optimal fighting weight of 155 lbs.

Return to UFC

Penn found mixed success upon his re-entrance into the UFC as a welterweight in 2006, and would soon drop to his natural—and original—155 lb. weight to take the UFC Lightweight Championship in 2008. He became only the second fighter in MMA history behind Randy Couture to win major titles in two different weight divisions. Penn’s lightweight reign thereafter was marked by a new found commitment to strength and conditioning preparation, and solidified his pound-for-pound legacy. Penn's two consecutive losses to the younger and quicker Frankie "The Answer" Edgar spelled the end of his long championship reign. While some fans questioned the legitimacy of the decision in their first encounter at Abu Dhabi, which Edgar won by a razor close margin, their rematch later in 2010 was a decisive victory by Edgar, and a reminder that it had been a long time since Penn had faced a hungry up-and-comer. Following the loss of his title, Penn vowed to fight more often and in varying weight classes.

Late in 2010 Penn lived up to that vow as he moved back to the Welterweight division to face rival Matt Hughes in their rubber match at UFC 123.  Penn made quick work of Hughes by connecting with a stiff right in their first exchange that sent Hughes to the mat a few follow up strikes earned Penn the 21 second win and besting Hughes 2 fights to 1 in their 3 matchups.

Penn continued his stay at Welterweight as he saw former title challenger Jon Fitch as his next opponent at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.  The first 2 rounds saw the undersized Penn surprise everyone including Fitch as it was him who was looking for takedowns which he actually saw some success.  Penn even had some submission attempts as he briefly was able to take Fitch's back on 2 occasions and attempt a rear naked choke.  By the time the 3rd round came around though it was Fitch who was the dominate fighter as he was able to avoid Penn's striking and get the Hawaiian on his back and defending some near fight ending ground and pound.  Although it was Fitch who was the stronger fighter at fight end only one judge gave the fight to him at a 29-28 score with the other 2 judges giving the fight a 28-28 score which ended the fight in a majority draw.

After a series of changes and injuries Penn's next opponent ended up being former Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz who was entering his second stint with the UFC.  The first round saw Penn competitive in the standup and threatened very briefly to take Diaz's back in a scramble.  The rest of the fight though saw Diaz take control as his pace, conditioned mixed with boxing and reach overwhelmed Penn as Diaz took the Unanimous Decision with scores of 29-28, 29-27, and 29-28.  In his post fight interview a battered Penn claimed "I've got a daughter, another daughter on the way, I don't want to go home looking like this, I'm done."

Return From Retirement

As many suspected, Penn's retirement was some what short-lived as only a few months past before rumors started to swirl of a returning Penn to the octagon. Those rumors proved to be truth as Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald was slated to be Penn's next opponent in a fight that was scheduled to take place in September at UFC 152 in Toronto Canada.  A cut during training to MacDonald  delayed their matchup to December 2012 at the UFC on Fox 5 card in Seattle, Washington.

Fighting Style

Combining a granite chin with incredible flexibility and balance, Penn is not only one of the most difficult fighters in the world to finish, he is also one of the most accurate and damaging boxers in the sport, holding wins over the aforementioned Hughes, as well as Renzo Gracie and top lightweights Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, and Diego Sanchez. Renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach has publicly stated that Penn is MMA’s best boxer. Penn holds the distinction of being undefeated at lightweight for over 8 years, with never having a lightweight fighter score a takedown or pass his guard. Also, regardless of continuously moving up in weight classes, including bouts at welterweight, middleweight, and heavyweight, Penn has never been knocked down by strikes in his entire career.

In short, in a sport teeming with world-class athletes Penn simply rises above the fray, displaying a grace, precision and fighting instinct that can seem otherworldly. Despite his typical posture of easy tranquility during the course of a fight, it is not unusual to see Penn’s opponents exiting the Octagon badly bloodied, and in some cases simply mutilated, by the onslaught. Penn is regarded as one of MMA’s all-time greatest pound-for-pound fighters. One of Hawaii’s biggest celebrities, with a thriving website at bjpenn.com, he also has one of the largest and most avid fan bases of any fighter in the world.

Last updated 10.11.2012, 8:01 AM ET
Wiki Contributors:

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Videos & Highlights

    Interview  |  B.J. Penn Announces Retirement at TUF 19 Finale report dead link

    Watch BJ Penn announce his retirement from MMA after a third loss to Frankie Edgar.

  • Highlight  |  Ultimate 8: BJ Penn Moments report dead link

    Watch the top eight moments of BJ Penn's career.

  • Highlight  |  "The Prodigy, Hilo Boy, Baby J, BJ Penn" HL Vid by Tap or Sleep report dead link

    MMA highlight video maker Tap or Sleep brings us this highlight video of the career of "The Prodigy," BJ Penn.

  • Highlight  |  "Victory featuring BJ Penn" Highlight Video by Tap or Sleep report dead link

    Tap or Sleep looks at BJ Penn once more in this MMA highlight video entitled "Victory featuring BJ Penn."

  • Misc  |  BJ Penn Demonstrates The Rear Naked Choke for ESPN Sport Science report dead link

    BJ Penn puts Sport Science's John Brenkus to sleep in the name of science.

  • Highlight  |  "Redemption - BJ Penn" HL Vid by RVCAMan report dead link

    RVCAMan looks at BJ Penn's return to the lightweight title in his "Redemption" highlight video.

  • Highlight  |  "Jiu Jitsu Prodigy" BJ Penn Highlight by RVCAMan report dead link

    RVCAMan looks at BJ Penn's jiu-jitsu background in this highlight video.

  • Highlight  |  Old School BJ Penn Highlight by Lvsouthpaw185 report dead link

    An older highlight reel of "The Prodigy" focusing on his best early moments. A classic from the vault.

  • Highlight  |  BJ Penn Highlight Video by BJPenn.com report dead link

    A highlight video posted by BJPenn.com of BJ's best moments.

  • Highlight  |  "BJ Penn - The Greatest" HL Vid by RVCAMan report dead link

    Another BJ HL vid by RVCAMan.

  • Highlight  |  "The Best Damn BJ Highlight Video" by Fly Win Evolutions report dead link

    Video maker Fly Win Evolutions created this highlight video of "The Prodigy" BJ Penn.